Help specifying a NUC for ROCK

I was hoping those with far more wisdom and experience than me would help to review the NUC i want to build in order to replace my ageing NAS (DS 216+(4GB)) as a Roon / ROCK Server.
My current library is ±10,000 tracks (180 GB) but i i spend a great deal of time listening to TIDAL. The new 1.7 roon update has improved my Roon experience dramatically. Prior to this update i would get Tidal drop outs all the time, however on the Roon side things have been a littel slower, not unmanageable but slower. This has caused me to think about upgrading.
I dont want to over by but i want something that can last several years.
Option 1: NUC8i5BEH with 8gb RAM, 128 M.2 SATA and 512 GB SSD for ±$830 from Simply NUC
Option 2: NUC 7i3DNFE Fanless Full gb RAM, 128 M.2 SATA and 512 GB SSD for ±$830 from Simply NUC (fanless is not essential but one less part to worry about breaking over the long term). Would it be a better choice to go with the i5 processor (see above).

Either way i’m in for $850. Is there a third option i haven’t considered that would be substantially cheaper but perform close to the above?


Imho the Fanless option if you can. But either will be fine

Learning how to use a screwdriver (no, really).

An 8i5 NUC with a 500 gig Samsung SSD and the other bits @Jim_F posted is $570 off Amazon.

An 8i3 in a fanless case is the same, give or take a buck or two. With the non-fanless 8i5, you’re paying someone $250 for 15 minutes max of work, so conservatively, $1000 an hour, to put it together for you (if they’re pre-installing ROCK, that’s a possible violation of licensing terms). If you feel doing what’s shown in this video is worth that much, then by all means, go ahead (and please disregard that guy’s configuration advice, it’s for using a NUC as a day-to-day machine, not as a Roon device).

The fanless option is a bit trickier to do yourself, but it sure as hell isn’t a $250 job at your local PC repair store, and if it is, find another one. Same applies to installing ROCK for you, or doing the NUC thing.


This is very helpful… thank you so much!!!
So breaking it down;

  1. Intel NUC 8 Mainstream Kit (NUC8i3BEH) - Core i3, Tall,
  2. Transcend 128GB Nvme PCIe Gen3 X4 MTE110S M.2 SSD Solid State Drive TS128GMTE110S
  3. Crucial 8GB Single DDR4 2400 MT/S (PC4-19200) SR x8 SODIMM 260-Pin Memory - CT8G4SFS824A
  4. Samsung 860 EVO 500GB 2.5 Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-76E500B/AM)

I have no problem building it myself… best of all ALL in for $440 :blush:

Anything im missing?

Thanks again

Looks about right, but make sure 500GB is enough storage for your music now and the next few years :+1:

500GB should be more than enough.

Another quick question: Having trouble sourcing the spec’d Crucible RAM. Any issue with using:
Kingston 250GB A2000 M.2 2280 Nvme Internal SSD PCIe Up to 2000MB/S
It looks identical and is compatible with the NUC

@neil_kaye - I just built mine Saturday - a NUC8i7BEH, with a 256GB internal system drive and 8Gb of memory.

You don’t need SSD for your music - a magnetic drive works fine. I bought a Buffalo brand USB 3 drive for about $100:

Works great.

PS - I highly recommend Micro Center if there’s a store near you. Instant gratification, and the employees are very helpful.

This one - FS: Intel 7i3BNK NUC 8GB RAM & 256GB SSD

Or NUC8i3BEH built with 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD and external drive or reuse your NAS as a networked drive (doing a lot less computing just as a NAS)

Crucial rather than Crucible? Then you mention RAM and list an NVMe drive as an alternative… not sure what you’re having problems sourcing :joy:

I would definitely go with option 1. This is more or less exactly what I have & Roon for me is rapid and there is no audible noise from the NUC In my opinion ‘fanless’ is not necessary.

Have you been running Roon on your Synology 216+? If so, no wonder it has been slow. However, I would definitely continue to use your Synology 216+ NAS to store your local music files. If I were you I would also save quite a buit of money by not bothering with the 512Gb SSD for your NUC. I can see no advantage whatsoever (the speed is definitely not required) of moving your music files from the NAS to an internal SSD on the NUC.

So my recommendation is: go for option 1, but without the SSD drive.

One advantage would be to use the NAS as backup to the primary source SSD. But I don’t disagree the speed difference would be very noticeable. It wasn’t for me.

If you’re still looking for memory I used G.SKILL F4-240016D-16GRS with my NUC8I7BEH build. 2 8gb sticks in a factory kit and tested to work together. More than required but works well and was not expensive.

Yes - but in my view that would be a waste of the NAS which is capable of very much more than a simple backup role. One or more relatively cheap USB drives would be much more appropriate for taking simple regular backups.

On my own set up, I operate two Synology NAS drives (a 216+ for my local music store and a 216 as my home movie/photo store). I backup both NAS drives to USB backup devices which I store externally with a relative for complete backup security.

My NUC8i5BEH with 8Gb RAM and 256 Gb M.2 SATA drive (128 Gb would be more than enough) and Synology NAS give me flawless performance with both local and external streaming (from Tidal).

Why would it be a waste? This is about the easiest thing a NAS can be asked to do, and it’s usually doing it at 2am when it’s less likely other tasks are being done. I back up my music files at one interval and my database at another (daily, staggered). Synology NAS and a NUC 9with internal storage). I back up my primary Synology NAS (SHR) which does lots of other stuff to my old Synology NAS (JBOD).
But as you note, there are lots of options here to choose from.

I would go with two (2) 4GB memory sticks instead, one on each slot. For some reason it is generally recommended.

– because the NAS is capable of so much more than just a simple backup device.

Admittedly, if you have complex backup requirements then the expense of a good NAS such as the Synology 216+ may be justified. However, now that I stream more and more from Tidal, I purchase less and my requirement for a backup of my music store is less and less complex. I certainly don’t require an incremental daily backup. I backup simply on an ad-hoc basis to one or more of my USB drives, and then store a copy of these drives externally.

My Synology 216+ NAS is much better suited to its primary use as a very efficient Music store, or (as in the case of my media NAS) as a photo and movie store.

Well, the OP already has a NAS. So the point is how to use it. Sure, if you don’t, that’s a waste of money just for a backup.

As I thought about this, backing up music from the NUC to the Synology may be a moot point. I do this with ActiveBackup. But I understand some older or under-powered Synology machines don’t support ActiveBackup.
One may be able to do that with rsync, but that’s beyond my skill level.

Yes, just leave the library on the NAS, it’s what it does best ‘Network Attached Storage’, and used a ROCK NUC as the Roon Core, easier all round.

These are great suggestions.
Ill return the internal SSD drive and keep the NAS for music file storage (at least for the meantime). This also saves the hassle of copying all of the files over (Was ntt quite sure how i was going to do that)
I run the NUC purely as the Roon core